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 Patrick Henry Pearse

Patrick Henry Pearse

Birth
Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland
Death 3 May 1916 (aged 36)
Kilmainham, County Dublin, Ireland
Burial Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland
Memorial ID 2006 · View Source
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Irish Patriot, Educator, Author. He will be remember for his participation in the Easter Rising of 1916 in Dublin, Ireland between the British and the Irish Revolutionaries at Jacob's Biscuit Company. He was arrested at the scene and in a court martial found guilty then sentenced to death in front of a British firing squad. Facing the firing squad at Kilmainham Jail, Pearse was one of the first three to be executed with his colleagues Thomas MacDonagh and Thomas Clarke. Over this Easter weekend thousands were arrested, some sent to jail in England without a trial, fifteen faced the firing squad yet seventy-five Irishmen were condemned to the firing squad but later the sentences were reprieved. Of the fifteen that were executed, all seven signers of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic were put to death, and he was one of the seven. He was the first president of the provisional government of the Irish Republic proclaimed in Dublin on April 24, 1916. Pádraic, as he was often called in the Irish dialect, was the son of James, an English sculptor and his Irish wife. While Ireland had a famine with people starving, his family was comfortable as his father had steady work. Pearse became a director of the Gaelic League, which was founded in 1893 for the preservation of the Irish language. Pearse graduated with a law degree from the King’s Inns and in 1901, he started a BA course in modern languages; at the same time as he was called to the Bar in Dublin. From 1903 to 1909, he edited the League's weekly newspaper, “An Claidheamh Soluis” or “The Sword of Light”. To further promote the Irish language as a weapon against the British domination in Ireland, he published tales from old Irish manuscripts and in 1914 a collection of his own poems in the modern Irish dialect. He wanted Irish history and culture taught as compulsory subjects in both Irish schools and colleges, and broke with the Roman Catholic church when they refused to do this. Only St. Enda's College supported the idea of Ireland being a bilingual nation along with the Irish culture; he helped to found this school in 1909 along with Thomas MacDonagh. Pearse became a member of Irish Volunteers provisional committee, and he contributed patriotic poems and articles to their newspaper. In July 1914 he was made a member of the supreme council of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. When World War I started, he was against the Irish joining the British army to fight the Germans. He published a pamphlet called “The Murder Machine” which was a severe condemnation of the Irish educational system. He also reasoned since London totally focused on the war in Europe, the time was ripe to overthrow British rule in Ireland. His reasoning proved to be wrong. By this time, his political views had turned to an extreme stance. As a noted orator, he gave a speech in June 1915 at the funeral of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa, a prominent veteran of the Sinn Fein, saying that the “blood of Irish martyrs would be required for liberation.” He was responsible for establishing the republican tradition in Ireland. His “Pearse’s Collected Works” was published in 1917 to 1922 in three volumes and again in 1924 in five volumes and in 1952 his “Political Writings and Speeches”. Those executed were thrown in a mass grave without coffins or a funeral service. It was after the death of these men, that the Irish citizens realized what these men had done. Patrick Pearse was known as the “First President of Ireland” and Irish history and culture became part of the educational system after 1922. His younger brother, William James, was also executed for his participation in the Easter Rising.

Bio by: Linda Davis


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 2006
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Patrick Henry Pearse (10 Nov 1879–3 May 1916), Find A Grave Memorial no. 2006, citing Arbour Hill Cemetery, Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland ; Maintained by Find A Grave .